STAR CITY, Russia – A three-man crew that would soon be headed to the International Space Station was undergoing its final preparations for its launch outside the Russian capital Moscow on Wednesday.
The team, made up of NASA astronauts Andrew Feustel and Richard Arnold and Roscosmos cosmonaut Oleg Artemyev, took its final exams at the training center in Star City.
“Feustel and Arnold will launch to the space station aboard the Russian Soyuz MS-08 spacecraft, commanded by Artemyev, in March 2018,” NASA said in a statement.
Feustel, who visited the ISS in 2011 as part of another mission, would thus embark on his first long-duration mission, NASA said, which would see him acting as a flight engineer on Expedition 55 and becoming a commander on 56.
Arnold and Artemyev would both be embarking on their second space flights, according to NASA.
The launch of Expedition 55/56 would take place March 21 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
The new arrivals will be greeted by the Expedition 55 crew members already on board the orbital platform, and were scheduled to return to Earth in August.